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cesium
Sat, Feb 18, 2017, 1:22pm (UTC -6)
Re: Star Trek: Discovery

I don't consider the "prequels don't have tension" argument to be valid. After all, ST is an optimistic series with very few bad endings, and we know (unless a series ending) there will be a next time. So there usually was no logical reason to be worried about the villain of the week in TNG or VOY. Any tension you felt was a result of suspension of disbelief, which can happen on a prequel just as well.

I'm not entirely convinced by continuity concerns either, though these do require some disciplined writing. It's a big universe after all, and not every interesting thing was encountered by the various Enterprise crews. It may limit big, visible, history changing events, but ENT3/4 showed us that was some open space even there.

The better argument against prequels is they require retarded technological development because technology must be behind the (already outdated) original series. Old Trek usually tried to be relevant on that score. TOS brought some very new tech ideas for its time to the screen, while TNG tried to incorporate the then craze for Virtual Reality with holodecks - admittedly with mixed results for episode quality. VOY, DS9 and ENT all gave up on this. An ST further ahead in the timeline could have caught the technological gap to our world and gone beyond, leading to further relevant questions on our relations to technology and its influence on us.
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cesium
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 6:36pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S1: Rogue Planet

I wouldn't give this episode a high rating, simply because it is so predictable. Nothing mysterious here. As soon as Archer spoke about seeing the woman, I could guess 99% of the plot, except for how exactly Enterprise would help.

That said, I wondered why the shapeshifters didn't create an evolved society or at least an organized response against the hunt?

My guess is that they are NOT sentient, not as we know it anyway. They are higher animals which evolved a telepathic mechanism. This mechanism allows them to 'mirror' the way the prey/predator thinks, but only when it is nearby and for a limited amount of time. So near to a Human/Eska they are sentient in a way. Alone they are just animals. Ironically Captain Archer may have delayed their evolution...

This would also explain why it would be obvious to DS9 Humans that Odo is not related (he's sentient, and they aren't).

P.S. I suspect The women couldn't just talk to Archer because she was not able to. She needed to have him alone (doesn't trust others, and/or others create too much 'noise'), and figure out just how to explain to him and get him to side with her.

The first obviously doesn't occur often. The second may not be as easy as we think. Quite possibly the memory of the women was far more accessible to her than words like "hunt" or "help". How would we know what easier for a telepathic being? Perhaps the very concept of spoken language is difficult for her...
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cesium
Fri, Feb 17, 2017, 10:32am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S4: In a Mirror, Darkly, Part II

The mirror universe episodes were some of the best of ENT. Yes, there wasn't have any influence on the main plot, so what? Most chapters don't have any. Besides, I think a long-running series can allow itself a few lighthearted chapters.

As for this episode, it's obvious half the ship read the ship's library, and watching the way they get 'corrupted' differently by the Federation's universe was great.

P.S. There's no reason to be worried about the "100 year technology headstart" the mirror universe gets. In all likelihood, Empire scientists get ahead by whacking their seniors and not teaching anyone too intelligent or threatening. Regular scientific progress must be slower then in the Federation Universe, progressing by fits and starts. So it's not a contradiction to find that by TOS the universes are about equal, and by DS9 the Federation universe is a bit ahead.
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cesium
Sun, Feb 12, 2017, 3:21pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Zero Hour

Well, this chapter shows the flaws of the season and series. First, the entire season 3 shows but then avoids the conflict between means and ends. This is done either by making situations so extreme that Archer really has no choice ("Damage"), preventing Archer from thinking straight ("Hatchery"), or just ignoring the consequences of Archer's actions. This is a case of the latter.

Archer all but lied to the aquatics, pretending he had a way to destroy the spheres when he didn't have it thought out. Letting T'Pol and co. come up with a way to do that cheapens the sphere-builders' threat (a single half-staffed Earth ship could come up with a way to destroy them in essentially its spare time?) and lets Archer off the hook. The series would have been much more interesting had the crew not been able to destroy the spheres and Archer would have had to deal with the consequences later on.

This is possibly a result of another problem, that the entire series must keep ST continuity. The Xindi aren't a big deal later on and the SPHB don't exist. So there was little choice but to go the time-travel route to finish them as an issue. Worse, this deterred the authors from treating this Xindi attack the logical way:

We should have had lots of Starfleet ships in system - every tug of floating wreckage Starfleet could have gotten. It would have made sense if Starfleet got other allies to help in. The Xindi Weapon could have gotten additional anti-ship weapons to compensate of course. The entire problem would have taken some cooperation to solve in true ST spirit (say, concentrated fire to weaken shields to allow transportation). But that would have reminded too much of Federation too soon in TL. Maybe if season 4 had come up earlier?

I think all these would have been avoidable with a bit of forethought and courage to break the TL only to put it together again much later. But we'll never know.
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cesium
Sat, Feb 11, 2017, 1:41pm (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: The Shipment

As an episode - it does what it must do, but no further. In retrospect, we see that Archer hasn't yet shifted from Explorer mode. There's never any discussion with the crew what would set back Xindi efforts most, but a gaggle of ideas. Archer seems to settle on something because it's the first thing that came up that won't insult his sensibilities rather because it's the best thing to do. An Archer that actually thought things through, could have (for example) captured Degra this episode, which would have involved no morally dubious choices at this point, and [spoiler] essentially skipped all the way to Stratagem while gaining him a few weeks.
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cesium
Sat, Feb 11, 2017, 11:58am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: The Catwalk

This episode has good ingredients. The crew is forced to an unexpected action, which allows them to pull together and lets us see them in a new light. The alien plot has the advantage of ambiguity up to a late point and is therefore more interesting than usual (in a different circumstance, it would have been enterprise crew exploring an 'uninhabited' alien ship).

However, both together seem to be less than the combined sum. Perhaps there wasn't enough time to explore both as much as they could have been? I'd give it 3-3.5 stars. But it could have been better.
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cesium
Sat, Feb 11, 2017, 11:27am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Regeneration

I guess I must be one of the few who didn't like this episode that much.

What happens is mostly logical***, continuity is kept, and the execution is decent. But bottom line is that the episode doesn't add anything new at all. The "ominous dread" doesn't lead to anything (the characters keep going as is, and we the viewers know humanity will make it through). We have all the by-now-Borg-standard fare and nothing else. The crew relates and deals with the Borg just like any other Starfleet crew would have (besides VOY which was worse). All-in-all, 3 stars.

*** Arguably, it would have more sense for the Borg to follow their original orders, remain on Earth and try to assimilate everyone.
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cesium
Sat, Feb 11, 2017, 11:02am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S2: Precious Cargo

Yes, this episode is 110% cliché. Still it isn't actively offensive like some other episodes out there ("A night in.." ahem.), so it deserved a slightly higher rating.

I wonder how likely the ending is though. Wouldn't Starfleet have gotten an advantage with having one of its man next to the First Monarch? This isn't the future Federation which has hundreds of worlds and needs its (wo)men more than alliances. Earth could have something to gain here.

Perhaps in a more 'realistic' Trek, Section 31 would have quietly 'suggested' to Trip to take up the offer, or at least make a visit. Than again this means we would have had to see more of this 'plot', so +1 for Trek not being realistic enough.
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cesium
Sat, Feb 11, 2017, 10:36am (UTC -6)
Re: ENT S3: Twilight

This is one of the best episodes of ENT. Only spoiled by the writers taking shortcuts to mark the characters more heroic when this wasn't necessary at all.
1) Only reason for Trip to reject Phlox's suggestion is that the writers need to have an heroic self-destruct later. 2) Archer getting three shots and still surviving. Both were utterly unnecessary and could have been trivially fixed.

An interesting note is that Commander Shran helps humanity (with shield technology) even when he seemingly had nothing to gain.

@Edax: In a later episode, we discovered Hoshi got kicked out of Starfleet officer course (won't spoil the story) and isn't a 'proper' officer. That's one reason for Starfleet to not promote her. You didn't expect the near-extinction of Humanity would actually reduce bureaucracy, did you?

(Also, I don't think she has any interest in any role besides the one she's doing. She's intrigued by languages, not command).
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